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Email from Tom Shaw to David Whelan, 14/09/06

David Whelan


14th September 2006

Dear David,

Thank you for your email dated 2nd August 2006. As you know, several factors have delayed my response and I am grateful for your patience in the circumstances.

Thank you for your comments and observations about the review, all of which I have considered carefully. I note that you would prefer a form of inquiry quite different to the review which I have been asked to undertake. I can do no other than suggest that you take that matter up with the Minister and Scottish Executive officials.

My independence is as I stated when we met. The remit which I accepted is focused on a review of the systems in place from 1950 to 1995 to protect children and young people in residential schools and children's homes in Scotland. It is my responsibility to determine how to undertake the Review and to discern findings, from my perspective.

As I am sure you will understand, any questions you may have about the remit or the intentions behind the setting up of the review, should be addressed to the Minister or his officials.

You commented again on the matter of recommendations. As I indicated in my response to your earlier questions, there is no requirement on the review to make recommendations; that said, the remit does not preclude my making recommendations.

A number of the other issues you have raised appear to relate to the confidentiality of the review process. Confidentiality is central to the work of the review and there is evidence of how this is ensured in the information sent to people when they contact my office to find out more about the review. An illustration of this is the consent form which is sent to them, a further copy of which is enclosed for your information.

At the conclusion of the review process I will be asking all who contributed information to the review whether they wish to have their information returned, destroyed or forwarded to another agency.

I appreciate that you have some very difficult experiences in the past. I want the review to contribute to a better understanding of how abuse was allowed to happen and to add to the safeguards now in place to protect children in residential care. I hope that there will be widespread support for those objectives.


Yours sincerely,


Emailed copy


Tom Shaw

Independent Expert

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